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March 30, 2015


In the 2000's some of Hillary's camp thought it would be a good idea to use Margaret Thatcher, aka "Attila the Hen" as a role model. Some of her hawkish posture might have come from that. It should also be remembered that John Kerry, among many other Democrats, had voted for Duhbya's war authorization. Maggie's royal bearing that worked for UK supporters played in the US as smugness - not that all the Clintons' smugness can be blamed on her. All that said, smugness is definitely not in short supply in the Republican candidates, and Hillary's will probably be more than canceled out.

I had assumed myself that any women running for the office of president was going to have to appear strong on defense or hawkish as it may alternately be described. Anything less would open her, no matter who the her might be, to an avenue of political attack from both the left and especially the right. Likewise she, in this case Hillary would be a less than sharp politico not use every arrow in the quiver to cut off avenues of attack within her own party. That's just politics. And the political landscape, the demographics underlying Democratic support, gives her a lot of arrows to use. And plenty of surrogates to shoot 'em. Granholm herself is a formidable politician and might have made a pretty fair candidate herself but for the "misfortune" of her birth.
She could lose this election but it is unlikely and, as president she will have the power to advance many many careers with patronage cabinet appointments and other key very public positions. She has the opportunity to form a truly monster coalition of women and ethnic groups like Latinos that may very well carry a lot of Hose and senate seats. I don't really sense a lot of resistance within her party for a big primary battle. It just isn't there.

In general I agree with your analysis, Peter. However, I'm forced to agree with our host's accusation that Hillary often seems smug. She, like Bill, has an unfortunate tendency to shoot her mouth off in unflattering ways, especially in moments of pique. And according to today's news she has still been less than forthcoming about her email use. I still don't think anyone outside the media community or loyal opposition will care much, but it does feed the line she's not trustworthy.

While I can understand her not wanting to appear too "soft," her hawkish attitude didn't work for her in the 2008 primaries. That's why I think Angela Merkle would be a better role model than Maggie. She has an ability to approach matters of war with a business-like attitude that suggests strength without any gung ho quality. But to be fair, she didn't have to follow anything like our neocons' bellicose drama.

As far as Granholm's "misfortune," I wish I'd shared it more and more often lately. Down here we've been living through what in a famous Chinese curse are known as "interesting times" politically. I have a fundamentally cheerful nature, but having to read about or listen to the idiocy coming from our conservatives is moving beyond boring and the silly season hasn't even officially started.

No problem with me Bob. I agree with both of you that she often seems a little smug. As to the degree with which hawkishness might seem advisable that varies continuously over time. Six months ago the American public was so tired of endless war that it must have seemed tragic to your hardcore bomb everyone McCain types. Yet now there is growing public support for yet more Middle East military action. I think that political stance is something no smart politician commits to unless they are forced by circumstances to do.

Good points, but it's hard to judge how offended Democratic primary voters would be by a show of thoroughgoing support for more war.

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